June 4th, 2007

Challenge: punctuation and paragraphing

Well, there was this movie I seen one time. About a man riding across the desert, and it starred Gregory Peck. He was shot down by a hungry kid tryin to make a name for himself. The townspeople wanted to crush that kid down and string him up by the neck.
Well, the marshal, now he beat that kid to a bloody pulp. As the dyin young fighter lay in the sun and gasped for his last breath: Turn him loose, let him go, let him say he outdrew me, fair and square. I want him feel what it’s like to every moment face his death.
Well, I keep seein this stuff, and it just comes rollin in, and you know it blows right through me like a ball and chain. You know, I can’t believe we’ve lived so long, and are still so far apart. The memory of you keeps callin out to me like a rollin’ train.
I can still see the day you came to me on a painted desert in your busted down Ford and your platform heels. I could never figure out why you chose that particular place to meet. Ah, but you were right, it was perfect as I got in behind the wheel. Well, we drove that car all night, until we got into St. Antoine. And we stared at the Alamamo. Oh, your skin was so tender and soft. Way down in Mexico, you went out to find a doctor and you never came back. I would’ve gone out after you, but I didn’t feel like lettin my head get blown off.
Well, we’re drivin’ this car, and the sun is comin’ up over the Rockies. And well, I know she ain’t you, but she’s here and she’s got that dark rhythm in her soul. But I’m too over-the-edge and I ain’t in the mood anymore to remember the times when I was your only man. Ah, she don’t wanna remind me, she knows this car would go out of control.

Brownsville girl, with your Brownsville curls
Teeth like pearls, shinin’ like the moon above
Brownsville girl, show me all around the world
Brownsville girl, you’re my only girl

Well, we crossed the panhandle, and then we headed towards Amarillo. We pulled up where Henry Porter used to live. He owned a wreckin’ lot outside-a town about a mile. Ruby was in the backyard hangin’ clothes. She had her red hair tied back. She saw us come rolling up in trail of dust. She said, Henry ain’t here, but you can come on in, he’ll be back in a little while. And she told us how times were tough, and about she was thinkin-a bummin a ride back to from where she started, but she’d change the subject every time money came up.
She said, Welcome to the land of the livin’ dead, but you could tell she was so broken-hearted. She said, Even the swap-meets around here are getting pretty corrupt.
How far you all goin’? Ruby asked us with a sigh.
We’re goin’ all the way, until the wheels fall off and burn. Till the sun peels the paint, and the seatcovers fade, and water moccasins die.
Ruby just smiled and said, Oh, you know, some they just never learn.
Something about that movie though, that I just can’t get it out of my head. But I can’t remember why I was in it, or what part I was supposed to play. All I remember about it is Gregory Peck and the way the people moved. And that a lot of them seemed to be looking my way.

Brownsville girl, with your Brownsville curls
Teeth like pearls, shinin’ like the moon above
Brownsville girl, show me all around the world
Brownsville girl, you’re my only girl

Well, they were lookin for somebody with a pompadour. I was crossin the street when shots rang out. I didn’t know whether to duck or to run, so I ran. We got him cornered in the churchyard, I heard somebody shout.
Well, you saw my picture in the Corpus Christi Tribune. Underneath it, it said, A Man with No Alibi. You went out on a limb to testify for me, you said I was with you. And when I saw you break down in front of the judge and cry real tears–it was the best acting I saw anybody do.
And I’ve always been the kind of person who doesn’t like to trespass, but sometimes you just find yourself over the line. Oh, if there’s an original thought out there, I could use it right now. You know, I feel pretty good, but that ain’t sayin’ much. I could feel a whole lot better, if you were just here by my side to show me how.
Well, I’m standing in line in the rain to see a movie starring Gregory Peck, yeah but you know it’s not the one that I had in mind. He’s got a new one out now, I don’t know what it’s about, but I’ll see him in anything, so I’ll stand in line.

Brownsville girl, with your Brownsville curls
Teeth like pearls, shinin’ like the moon above
Brownsville girl, show me all around the world
Brownsville girl, you’re my only girl

You know, it’s funny how things never turn out the way you had’em planned. The only thing we knew for sure about Henry Porter is that his name wasn’t Henry Porter. And you know there was somethin about you, baby, that I liked, that was always too good for this world. Just like you always said there was somethin about me you liked that I left in the French Quarter.
Strange how people who suffer together have stronger connections than people who are most content. I don’t have any regrets; they can talk about me plenty when I’m gone. (Oh, yeah?) You always said, People don’t do what they believe in–they just do what’s most convenient, then they repent. And I always said, Hang on to me, baby, and let’s hope that the roof stays on.
There was a movie I seen one time, I think I sat through it twice. I don’t remember who I was, or where I was bound. All I remember about it was that it starred Gregory Peck. He wore a gun and he was shot in the back. Seems like a long time ago, long before the stars were torn down.

Brownsville girl, with your Brownsville curls
Teeth like pearls, shinin’ like the moon above
Brownsville girl, show me all around the world
Brownsville girl, you’re my only girl

The text above is not mine; I just transcribed that from the MP3 so that I could attempt to add punctuation and paragraphing without anyone else’s ideas impinging upon my own. Obviously, wherever the line breaks are, it’s a song and it’s not written like that, but I think it makes good sense as prose my way. And it is one of my favourite sets of lyrics anywhere ever (lyrics as a opposed to songs, it doesn’t work too well as a piece of music, I don’t think). 50 points if you can name the author (not too hard, given the style?) Hell, 25 points just for reading through to the end. I can see why it’s not everyone’s favourite.

Even the swap-meet around here are getting pretty corrupt (gosh, I love this)
RR

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So Much Love by Rebecca Rosenblum

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